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Can you avoid paying monthly alimony payments?

One thing that people going through a divorce may be concerned about is the impact of long-term alimony payments on their finances. If your husband or wife did not work for a significant amount of time and you were the sole breadwinner, it's not unreasonable for your spouse to ask for alimony. Should it be permanent, though? How much is enough? These are common questions that you deserve answers to.

How much is enough is based on your specific case. If your spouse is working, then you may pay alimony to make up a difference in your earnings, for example. Or, if he or she is not working, then you may need to pay alimony to help support your spouse until he or she is back in the workforce.

Not many cases of alimony awards result in permanent alimony. In fact, many cases don't even include monthly alimony payments. It's fairly common for a couple to settle an alimony amount all at once in a lump sum. There are a few good reasons to go through a settlement. First, you don't have to make or receive alimony on a monthly basis. This helps both parties move on and cuts ties with the other. A lump sum also gives the lesser-earning spouse more money upfront to find an apartment or home, get settled and start to get his or her life in order.

If you receive a lump sum of alimony, remember that you may be taxed on the full amount. If it is classified as a settlement, it may not be taxed. Your attorney can give you more information on how to avoid a heavy tax burden on alimony.

Source: FindLaw, "Avoid Alimony Monthly Payment Programs," accessed March 24, 2017

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